Majority Judgment: Measuring, Ranking, and Electing

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MIT Press, Jan 28, 2011 - Political Science - 432 pages

An account of a new theory and method of voting, judging and ranking, majority judgment, shown to be superior to all other known methods.

In Majority Judgment, Michel Balinski and Rida Laraki argue that the traditional theory of social choice offers no acceptable solution to the problems of how to elect, to judge, or to rank. They find that the traditional model—transforming the "preference lists" of individuals into a "preference list" of society—is fundamentally flawed in both theory and practice. Balinski and Laraki propose a more realistic model. It leads to an entirely new theory and method—majority judgment—proven superior to all known methods. It is at once meaningful, resists strategic manipulation, elicits honesty, and is not subject to the classical paradoxes encountered in practice, notably Condorcet's and Arrow's. They offer theoretical, practical, and experimental evidence—from national elections to figure skating competitions—to support their arguments. Drawing on insights from wine, sports, music, and other competitions, Balinski and Laraki argue that the question should not be how to transform many individual rankings into a single collective ranking, but rather, after defining a common language of grades to measure merit, how to transform the many individual evaluations of each competitor into a single collective evaluation of all competitors. The crux of the matter is a new model in which the traditional paradigm—to compare—is replaced by a new paradigm—to evaluate.

 

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Contents

1 Majority Judgment
1
2 Voting in Practice
21
3 Traditional Social Choice
47
4 Electing versus Ranking in the Traditional Model
67
5 Strategy in the Traditional Model
93
6 Fallacies of the Traditional Model in Voting
111
7 Judging in Practice
129
8 Common Language
161
14 Large Electorates
235
Voting
251
16 Objections to Majority Judgment
279
17 PointSumming Methods
293
18 Approval Voting
315
19 Comparisons of Voting Methods
339
20 The Game of Voting
351
21 Multicriteria Ranking
375

9 New Model
175
10 Strategy in Grading
187
11 Meaningfulness
199
12 MajorityGrade
209
13 MajorityRanking
219
22 A Summing Up
387
References
395
Name Index
405
Subject Index
409
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Michel Balinski was Directeur de Recherche de classe exceptionnelle (Emeritus), C.N.R.S. and the Laboratoire d'Econométrie, Département d'économie, école Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France.

Rida Laraki is Chargé de Recherche de première classe, C.N.R.S., Laboratoire d'Econométrie, Professeur, Département d'économie, école Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France, and Chercheur Associé, équipe Combinatoire et Optimisation, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France.

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